World Health Organisation says the return of stadium shows in 2020 could be “disastrous”

The World Health Organisation has said the return of stadium shows in 2020 could be “disastrous”.

In a recent online discussion reported by AFP, Michael Ryan, executive director of the WHO’s health emergencies programme, said that bringing back large-scale shows this year amid the coronavirus pandemic could be “disastrous” in stadium-sized crowds. 

“Large crowds of 40,000, 50,0000, 60,000 people… it’s not just the risk of being in the stadium – it’s the risk of going to the stadium, the public transport, the bars and the clubs,” he said. “Imagine all the problems we have now with nightclubs and bars, and you squeeze all of that together into a four- or five-hour experience, where thousands of people go on the same public transport to a venue, get involved in the social aspects before a game, be involved in the game and then all of the social aspects after. In the context of community transmission, that could be disastrous.”

“We’re just going to have to be careful for a good bit longer,” he continued. “It’s very unrealistic in countries with community transmission that we’re going to be seeing large gatherings like that this year. Right now, it’s hard to see those fully reopened venues.” 

In July, open-air events were given the green light to take place as long as they had “a limited and socially distanced audience”. More recently, the UK government stated that music and theatre venues can open their doors for live, socially-distanced performances from last weekend (15th), but nightclubs and dance halls must remain closed for the forseeable future.

Released on Wednesday last week (5th August), a new documentary from Pioneer DJ, entitled Distant Dancefloors, presents a 360-degree view of the economical, psychological and social impact COVID-19 has had on global club culture.


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